The list includes comments Fauci made as early as January that, while reflecting the scientific thinking on the new coronavirus at the time, are now believed to be incorrect. In some cases, they truncated his comments to leave off warnings about the disease. The White House is essentially treating Fauci "as if he were a warring political rival," The New York Times reports, and the list of his comments is "laid out in the style of a campaign's opposition research document." The bullet points "resembled opposition research on a political opponent," CNN concurs. The list was also sent to NBC News.
Fauci and Trump have never seen eye-to-eye on the disease, and their early apparent rapport has publicly frayed; the Times says the split widened when Fauci dismissed the efficacy of Trump's favored treatment, hydroxychloroquine, while the Post adds in policy disagreements over face masks and reopening businesses and schools. "Trump is also galled by Fauci's approval ratings," the Post reports, noting a recent Times/Siena College poll showing 67 percent of voters trusting Fauci on the pandemic versus 26 percent who trusted Trump.
A senior administration official told CNN some White House officials don't trust Fauci because they don't think he has Trump's best interests in mind, pointing to statements were he publicly disagreed with Trump.
After CBS's Margaret Brennan noted last Sunday that Face the Nation had tried unsuccessfully to book Fauci for three months, White House communications officials — who, along with Michael Caputo, a Trump ally and Roger Stone friend who runs communications at the Department of Health and Human Services, have to approve all coronavirus-related TV appearances — agreed to book Fauci on PBS NewsHour, CNN, and NBC's Meet the Press, the Post reports. After Fauci disputed Trump's "false narrative" about falling mortality rates on Facebook Live, those appearances were all canceled. Peter Weber
More than a quarter of a million people have signed a petition asking that Paris Jackson please, please, please not play Jesus in a forthcoming movie called Habit, Entertainment Tonight reports.
The film is described as being about "a street smart, party girl with a Jesus fetish [who] gets mixed up in a violent drug deal and finds a possible way out: by masquerading as a nun." Bella Thorne, who is also in the movie, defended Jackson, writing that people were just mad "because Jesus is a woman" while Sia popped on Twitter to tell Jackson "I love you, keep going."
Notably, the petition calls for the movie to be halted on the grounds that it is "blasphemous" and "Christianophobic garbage," and not because it just sounds truly terrible. Jeva Lange